What can you buy for $1?
You certainly can’t buy a newspaper. The Herald Sun costs $1.40 on weekdays; The Age costs $2.50; The Australian is $2.70.
So I’m finding it difficult to be too outraged at standard stamps going up to $1. In fact this letter in Saturday’s Age perfectly sums up how I feel about it:
For $1, I can send a letter from the most out-of-the-way PO in the local store in Victoria for delivery to the most remote location in the Kimberley. What else can I buy for $1? Not much. Can a competitor deliver a letter from one side of Sunbury to the other for $1? No. People still use mail when it is the appropriate method. We long ago switched to fax then email where appropriate, including because they are cheaper and quicker. The price increase from hardly anything to not much will not change most decisions. Please, public, stop complaining about this trivial price increase.
Don Hampshire, Sunbury
Granted, it’s a jump from the old price of 70 cents.
Notably, concession stamps are available for concession card holders — up to 50 per year, at 60 cents each, so hopefully those on lower incomes (including seniors) who still send a lot of letters won’t feel a huge impact.
But for most of us, technology means regular letters are just not something we send as often as we used to. I still send a few Christmas cards in December, but I probably receive more parcels (via online shopping) than I send letters.
On the occasion that I do send letters, a dollar (or even $1.50 for “Priority”) for transporting physical paper, whether it’s across the city or across the country, still feels like a bargain to me.